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Discussion in 'Help *General*' started by Queen 'O Green, Aug 5, 2006.

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  1. Queen 'O Green

    Queen 'O Green Elite Member

    Ok... I am guessing I pretty much know the answer to this question, but I want your input anyway.

    Bilboa [5 foot red tail boa] is making a wheezing sound when he breaths sometimes. Not all the time, and I don't see any mucus, but when he is around me shoulders with his head near my ear it can sound a bit wheezy. I am guessing this could have something to do with the humidity. Before you ask, no I don't have a humidity gage... My darn vet told me not to bother with it but to give him a humidity box for choices. I really don't like that vet.

    Like her or not I would rush over there, accept I just lost my job after an entire summer of barely getting the hours I need to survive (curses) and I quite literally don't have the money. Plus they tend to milk you for everything you are worth over there and the advice I have gotten is just not that great.

    Tomorrow I will hunt out something to read the humidity with, but until I find out if it is too high or low, do you guys have any suggestions? The temps are at 75-85 and I get him out f the cage daily, plus e go to the part about twice a week for sun. Should I take the humidity hide out of there? Is this really dangerous? I'm so frustrated....
  2. grim

    grim Elite Member

    honestly you should invest in the 11.95 humidity guage for the sake of your herp... then we can find out what we need to do from there once you know the humidity %
  3. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    It could be the beginning of pneumonia, but there could also be other causes.
    It might be stress-related. One of the RTB females at the zoo was being used for educational "behind the scenes" tours: taken out every day and handled a lot. She started to wheeze and cough: no mucus, no sign of infection. She was given tons of antibiotics, but nothing helped. My boss is convinced that it is stress-related put up a sign saying she was not to be disturbed, but most of the tour people ignore it. :( So she still wheezes and coughs. Fortunately, she's still eating (which is a good sign)

    Some things to try:
    turn up the heat a bit (so that the warm end is at the high side of the range.) Heat helps the snake's immune system fight off infection. Are there any bubbles around her nose or mouth? Does she breathe with her mouth open? These are serious signs of an infection. If you can gently open her mouth, you can check for any thick mucus.

    Stop handling for a while. Once or twice a week at the most.

    What sort of substrate are you using? Certain substrates (i.e. cedar) can cause respiratory problems.
    Also, do you wear perfume? If you notice it when she's around your neck, perhaps she is reacting to a perfume(?)

    A moss box is not a bad thing. (It should not be soaking wet: just moist). Then make sure that the rest of the terrarium isn't too wet. A humidity gauge is a good idea.

    Good luck! :)
  4. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    I agree with raising the temps a little, and put him on newspaper for a while. Have you changed the substrate lately, sometimes wheezing is caused by the dust from fresh substrate. I keep all my RTB's on newspaper all the time.
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    This could be several things. It could be dust from the substrate, the beginning of a respiratory problem or even retained shed in the nostrils. I agree with what has been said. Raise the top end temperature to about 90. Remove any substrate and leave on paper. Check down inside the nostrils for any sign of retained shed (yes they shed down in there too). If you start seeing any sign of extra mucus or bubbling the snake needs a vet. At that point it is serious!
  6. Queen 'O Green

    Queen 'O Green Elite Member

    Thanks guys! I will... sadly... stop handling him for a little while. Though I did leave him in his cage for a full week when he was shedding and I didn't notice a difference. Still, it is worth a try.

    I just put him on newspaper, and I change that about once a week, or more when needed.

    As for perfumes... not unless I'm up for a job interview or something. My room is also pretty low on scent, I used to light a lot of incense but stopped when I got him.

    There doesn't seem to be any sort of bubbling and his nostrils look fine to me.. not that I really know what I am looking at, but it seems clear. My attempts to look into his mouth were pretty well thwarted, the most he let me do was sort of tug at his lips. What little I saw was clear and fine, and since he never opens the darn thing I am pretty sure he just breaths through his nose.

    Also, because of his tail I just has him on antibiotics for two weeks and didn't see any difference. I'm not sure what that means.

    Today I will get that guage and let you guys know as soon as I get a reading!
  7. Queen 'O Green

    Queen 'O Green Elite Member

    OK! So I got the gauge... and it is cheep but all I could afford. Anyway, it's been in there for about an hour and reads "50"... So it's not horridly high, in fact I believe it is a bit low. I need to look at that caresheet again... Grrrrr... I don't know what else could be causing this.
  8. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Sounds like its just stress related to me. If it were a RI you would prolly see mucus by now. Just keep your temps up and keep your humidity at 60% or so.
  9. joeking

    joeking Elite Member

    are you sure its wheezing and not hissing? My friend has a crazy snake and it hisses/wheezes for no reason at all and I thought it was kinda odd. Does it seem to be getting better or worse? Just keep an eye on him and keep his enclosure really clean for a while. Just incase he does have shed in his nose why dont you soak him in steamy warm water for a bit and if there was anything there it may come out...or throw him in a pillow case with a warm wet towel. Sorry I don't have much advice to give, good luck!
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Do NOT put any snake in steamy water!
    If the water is steaming it is FAR too hot for the snake!
  11. caudalis_sa

    caudalis_sa Elite Member

    agreed...this will really harm your snake!!!! they can die from over heating very easily!!!
  12. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    And at this point dampness can be bad, if he does indeed ha a respitory infection.
  13. joeking

    joeking Elite Member

    hmm yes that came out wrong...Joe had problems shedding and someone recommended I put him in with a warm wet towel in a container and put a warm wet towel over the top of the steamed and it did the trick for the shed. My breath could steam that container, it was by far hot.
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